• FINANCE,  FOOD

    Grocery Budget Challenge

    October is over, so I guess it’s time to share how I did on my self-inflicted grocery budget challenge!  Mike and I had fallen off the budget train while back and we wanted a fresh start so kicked it off with a budget challenge to make sure we were paying close attention to what and where we were spending. I have seen a YouTuber that love mention the $100/person per month challenge for budgeting, which for us was $1000. I began by trying to stick to $200 per week so that I would have a margin. I shopped both online (2 out of the weeks) and in store (the 2…

  • homeschooling

    How I Teach: Handwriting

    Who out there over complicates something that just SCREAMS simple? (Raising my hand in the air while simultaneously hanging my head in shame.) Why do I do that? I mean, I fight for simplicity every day and try to streamline everything to make it more efficient. Handwriting is one of those subjects that is just TOO easy to teach, yet I always seemed to make it more complicated than it needed to be. This summer as I was looking at printing out and binding all the worksheets (x4) we had done last year I started brainstorming a simpler approach. “Why not have everyone do handwriting at the same time and even, possibly, be…

  • homeschooling

    Curriculum Choices for 2017-2018

    This post is embarrassingly late! But better late than never, right? We are in our 7th week of school and I am encouraged to say we have hit a smooth groove with our schedule. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still have days where I feel like I am being torn into a thousand pieces none of which that belong to me (thank you Becky for that awesome analogy at church!), but we are getting things done and I am not loosing by head every day so I am calling that a win! I will share a more in depth look into our schedule and routine at a later date,…

  • FINANCE,  grocery haul

    Budget Challenge Grocery Haul

    I LOVE a good budgeting challenge! Its so amazing how much further we can stretch a dollar when we set our minds to it! This month I have challenged to spend less than $1000 for our family of 10 for groceries, toiletries and household consumables! The challenge was presented by a YouTube video I saw that said that you CAN keep this amount at $100/person per month! So, I accepted to see how realistic it was! I will be keeping track of ALL my grocery purchases and let you know how I did at the end of October! Week one Menu: Leftovers/sandwiches Homemade pizza with salad Grilled chicken with potatoes…

  • FAMILY

    October is finally here!

    Is anyone else (besides me and Cypress over there) geeking out over that fact that its FALL?! Cause I am! Fall is by far my favorite time of year! And I am SO over the 90 degree weather. Here in Illinois we had a couple of record setting days in the mid 90’s at the end of SEPTEMBER! Talk about summer going out with a bang! During that little heat wave Mike and I took the family to Peoria to see replicas of the Nina and the Pinta.   Anyone else need lots of patience and oils when traveling with children? We have been in the habit of “Passing the…

  • FITNESS & BEAUTY

    I did a “thing”

    Anyone who has followed me for very long KNOWS my hair has been super long for… like…ever! Well, on Saturday I found a couple of cute (shorter) hairstyles on Pinterest and starting thinking about lopping off my LONG hair. By Sunday I had scissors in hand and was rearing to go. No, I don’t have cosmetology training, I am self taught… mostly through YouTube. BUT, I have been cutting my own hair for over 10 years and *most* of the time it turns out amazing. I went for a long bob, or lob, as it is known in internet land. I probably cut it a bit longer than most lobs…

  • recipes

    Banana Protein Pancakes

    My family LOVES pancakes. And our go to recipe for them is in my cookbook HERE. But lets all be honest for a moment. Pancakes aren’t the healthiest choice and don’t contain a whole lot of protein for that morning boost. Enter BANANA PROTEIN PANCAKES! Made with a ton of eggs, fruit and NO flour, added sugar or milk! Both gluten and dairy free! In a high power blender add: 6 eggs 4 ripe bananas 1-1/2 cups of rolled oats (old fashion or quick) 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional) 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein (keep in mind this ingredient DOES contain dairy, so if you use…

  • FAMILY

    Tent Camping with 10 People?

    If you have followed us for long then you know were are a very outdoorsy family. We love being immersed in nature’s goodness which ultimately means wrapping ourselves in God’s beautiful creation. We love to hike in the woods, camp under the stars, and dig our hands in the dirt. Camping embodies all of this. I grew up camping so it means even more to me. It is a connection to my childhood and stirs so many amazing memories within me. Now we are the parents and want to share that with our small army. And we want to do it NOW. Not when they are “older” or when they…

  • homeschooling

    Homeschool Year Wrap Up…. Hits and Misses

    We are DONE with school for the year. Like early-done. Like totally-done. Like didn’t-have-to-leave-anything-off-done…. WHAAA????? What planet am I living on? This. NEVER. Happens. LIKE EVER. (Are you already sick of the work “like” in just the first paragraph of this blog?…I am like sorry! So, what better time to do a wrap up on of the school year than when it’s fresh in my mind and I haven’t invaded my limited brain space to start FREAKING OUT ABOUT working on next year’s plans. This year I taught 8th grade (using Classical Conversations Challenge A curriculum), 6th grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, and 1st grade. Let’s just start with what…

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